Wednesday, October 30, 2013

State of the Dog: Once, Twice, Six Months a Lily

I can't believe it's been six months since we adopted Lily. I mean who would have thought our little girl would have gone from this:

To this:

Huh. Turns out "then and now" photos of adult dogs
aren't nearly as impressive as those of human children.
Lesson learned.

She also lets us dress her in sweater-costumes
with nary a scratch on our arms.
Sometimes I stare at her and say "I can't believe you're our dog, Lily!" and it's cheesy, and it's true. As much as I loved dogs growing up, I couldn't ever imagine owning one myself. They were hard work, they were expensive, they shed, they were sometimes smelly, they were dirty and they had aggravating habits. All those things are true of dogs; they are also true of me. No wonder we get along.

But I've since learned that dogs are also great pick-me-ups, superb eating companions, walk accompaniers, cuddle pals, jokers, weirdos, and manufacturers of cute. Having Lily hasn't been easy every day, sure, but most days it's a simple joy just to be in her company as she chews on something that smells like bacon.

Seriously, look at these dorks. They're practically spooning.
She's so different from the frightened little girl we picked up back in April. She lets dogs sniff her when we go on walks and, on occasion, even deigned to sniff them back; she's become much more used to our family members coming over to visit; she got in her first dog fight*; she even stood up for herself when Suzy, TB's family's dog, came to stay with us. And by "stood up for herself" I mean "barked every 10 minutes at nothing just to show off and then peed on Suzy's bed when we were out of the house". Baby steps. But she'll actually interact with Suzy now, which is remarkable, given her general aversion to other dogs.

No, really, she's super good about the costumes.
Now, this isn't to say she's not skittish- I could (and should) start a Tumblr about all the things that scare her on a daily basis - but, for the most part, she knows we're her people and, if anyone's here to protect her, it's us. Or put her in a stupid outfit. But mostly the protect part.

Her social media scores are through the roof. 
I always kind of scoffed when people said that they can't imagine their lives before they had a pet, but I get it now. When I come home and she's not there, I find my heart sinks a bit when I don't her little wrinkly face or hear her demented little bark. The few times I've been sick this year, Lily's been right there, delighted I'm home, acting as my hot water bottle or shoving herself beside me on the couch. All these things help make it worth it when I take an Alf's worth of fur off my carpet and clothes every week or when she barks incessantly at the woman who cleans our house or when she eats that beef curry wrap I was really looking forward to.

She makes me smile literally every day. She made us a family. And she made herself an Instagram sensation!

Here's to many many more months of happiness and frustration, of snuggles on the couch and treats that smell like meaty death, little girl. We're so glad you're blooming, Lily.

*no worries, she wasn't hurt and, I swear to dog, she windmilled the other pug

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